Savile and Newsnight: Who was in charge

Former head of Sky News Nick Pollard was brought in to review the way a Newsnight report dealing with allegations of child abuse against Jimmy Savile was treated by the BBC.

His review was set up in October amid mounting questions about why the report was dropped from the programme.

Newsnight's editor Peter Rippon stepped aside, and director of news Helen Boaden and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, removed themselves from involvement in coverage of Savile allegations, to allow the review to proceed.

Pollard is expected to report on whether there were any management failings within the BBC.

Boaden and Mitchell stood aside from their roles completely in November after Newsnight broadcast a report in which a former senior Conservative politician was wrongly accused of child abuse.

This followed the departure of director general George Entwistle, who resigned "in the light of the unacceptable journalistic standards" of the November Newsnight report.

The diagram below shows the chain of command when the decision was made to drop Newsnight's Savile report in December 2011.

bbc organisation chart

What happened next

Who Details
Chris Patten

Lord Patten, chairman, BBC Trust

Continues to head the trust, which is independent of BBC management and holds the executive to account. It is also the final point of appeal within the BBC for complaints on editorial issues.

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson, former director general

Left BBC in October for job as chief executive and president of the New York Times. Called to give evidence to Pollard review.

DG George Entwistle

George Entwistle, former director general

Lasted 54 days as director general. Resigned hours after a disastrous interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme in which he said he had had no prior knowledge of the Newsnight story that mistakenly linked a senior Tory figure to child abuse in north Wales.

Helen Boaden

Helen Boaden, director of news,

Stepped back from editorial involvement in Savile-related coverage while a review was carried out over the BBC's handling of the story. Then, on 12 November, when Tim Davie took over as acting director general, she stepped aside from all editorial involvement, pending the outcome of the Pollard review.

David Jordan

David Jordan, director editorial policy and standards

Continues to provide advice to programme-makers and journalists, with responsibility for the BBC's editorial guidelines.

Steve Mitchell

Steve Mitchell, deputy director of news

Stepped back from editorial involvement in Savile-related coverage while a review was carried out over the BBC's handling of the story. Then, on 12 November, when Tim Davie took over as acting director general, Mitchell stepped aside from all editorial involvement, pending the outcome of the Pollard review.

Peter Rippon

Peter Rippon, Newsnight editor

Stepped aside 22 October to allow investigations to continue into why the programme dropped its investigation into Savile.

Liz Mackean

Liz Mackean, Newsnight journalist

Worked with Meirion Jones on the Newsnight investigation into Savile and allegations of sex abuse.

Meirion Jones

Meirion Jones, Newsnight journalist

Worked with Liz Mackean on the Newsnight investigation into Savile and allegations of sex abuse.

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